Clinical Trials & Research - Compass Oncology

Cancer Research: Bringing New Therapies to the Portland and Vancouver Communities

Great strides have been made in effective cancer treatment due in part to new drug therapies researched through clinical trials. Compass Oncology is fortunate to be a member of The US Oncology Network, one of the nation’s largest community-based cancer treatment and research networks. Through our participation in US Oncology Research, our oncologists have helped play a role in the development of more than 60 FDA-approved drugs - nearly 1/3 of all approved cancer therapies, and we offer clinical trials that are not available anywhere else in the Portland and Vancouver area.

At Compass Oncology, we are cancer specialist that are deeply committed to advancing the science of oncology. Research trials are a critical element in expanding our knowledge and improving cancer care. They provide Compass patients with access to promising new cancer therapies that are not yet available to individuals outside the clinical trial. Cancer patients who participate expand their treatment options and contribute to the advancement of medical knowledge that may help other cancer patients in the future.

Below is further information to help you better understand Clinical Trials:

Purpose

Clinical trials are a critical component in expanding treatment options for people with all types of cancer. Because all new treatment therapies must be evaluated through clinical trials, the greater the number of people who participate, the faster emerging anticancer therapies can be brought to patients. Clinical trials are also important because they offer hope to people with cancer by providing access to promising new therapies not yet available outside the study.

Process

Clinical trials are designed by physicians and researchers and are conducted according to strict scientific and ethical principles. Before the study begins, a protocol is developed describing what will be done in the study, how it will be conducted and why each part of the study is necessary. This research protocol is reviewed by third party experts to make sure that study is conducted fairly and that patients are well-informed of their rights.  Each study has eligibility criteria for who can or cannot participate in the study, which may include the type of cancer, age, gender, medical history and current health status.

Benefits

  • Patients have access to promising new therapies not yet available outside the study. These therapies are being studied because doctors hope they will prove more effective or less toxic than the standard treatment.
  • Patients can play and active role in their cancer care by expanding their treatment options.
  • Patients who participate in clinical trials receive first-rate medical care during the trial and throughout treatment. Their overall health is closely monitored.
  • By participating in clinical trials that can help bring new treatments to market, patients are contributing to the greater knowledge of cancer that may help other cancer patients in the future.

Risks

  • Participants in randomized studies will not be able to choose the approach they receive.
  • Health insurance and managed care providers may not cover all patient care costs in a study.
  • Therapies under study are not always better that the standard care.
  • New treatments may have unknown side effects or risks.

Decisions

Patients considering participation in a clinical trial will receive important facts about the study’s purpose and what is involved, such as the tests and other procedures used, possible risks and benefits. Should a patient decide to participate, he or she will be asked to sign a written consent form that outlines the details of the study prior to beginning the trial. However, participation in the trial is completely voluntary and patients may stop at any time.

If you would like more information, you may speak to your oncologist about the available clinical trials.